Sunday, May 28, 2017

eyes of the storm

sunday 21st:

not enough sleep, waking up from dead dreamlessness
a horrible morning, but a good moment in the eye of the storm and mr smear and gd starring in "conversations with wookies"
the vehicle tracking company picking me up as illegally starting the rental car
mr smear needing help on the slide and me storming out the playground
trying and failing to stream beauty and the beast, settling for shannara
exhaustion striking minutes before mr smear woke up from his nap
my painful cracked tongue (finally getting better now, a week later)
coffee for reading took me through walking mr smear on the promenade, his shark pants amusing a lot of people while we enjoyed a stunning sunset
mom coming over for a visit, showering and prepping mr smear for bed: bedtime in two parts, the first having us laughing at his vacillation between crying and singing
resuming shannara then remembering that american gods episode three was out, watching most of it and then passing out

monday 22nd:

waking up early, shooting out a stream of consciousness inspired by a great article about chris cornell and depression, spending a couple of hours in an IP detection rabbit hole

i don't understand how it's possible that nine times out of ten i'll try to go to the bathroom in the early morning and mr smear will just *know* and wake up, it doesn't matter if it's 1am, 3am or 6am and i'm not making any noise

an hour of perfect sleep and then getting into trouble for snoozing my alarm

a few hours of work, picking up mr smear, putting him down for a short nap and watching american gods, then entering survival mode through a visit to the chiropractor and until the evening

mom coming to help out, trying to take advantage by resting but instead obsessively editing my earlier stream of consciousness into an actual poem that i'm proud of

logan! we watched most of it before passing out, not without minor flaws but absolutely brilliant nonetheless.

tuesday 23rd:

up at 5am but not particularly productive, mr smear waking up super cute, dropping him off and coming home to pass out for a couple of hours then get through a painful level of super meat boy before picking up mr smear; he and another kid didn't want to leave and we ended up chatting with her mom who now feels bad for forcing her kid to eat meat...

a pleasant afternoon, mr smear napping enough to give us space to breathe
gym, sunset walk, mr smear covering his mouth when he coughed

dinner with a still sore tongue, standard bedtime, finishing logan: the bad writing of the kids running through the forest got under my skin, but otherwise what an awesome film!


wednesday 24th:

until 1.40am, going to bed with a sense of accomplishment

terrible sleep and a crazy coughing fit, dreaming stealing candy from the spider's web in the field and then going away, the spider turning into a bunch of creepy children with their teacher and tracking us down, finding us just as we settled and after we'd eaten the candy; i asked them to let us buy them $5 of candy from each of us and they agreed, and a couple of us went to the store. rows and rows of popcorn flavouring and a man telling his friend that if they became store members he'd try every flavour in a month, we then struggled to weigh and price the candy and just as we finished i realized that we'd only gotten sour candy so i went back looking for sweet as well. suddenly it was closing time and my guys had weighed and paid already so i had to cover the extra sweets on my own...

... and then we woke up and mr smear danced to my alarm (vitalic - poison lips) on the bed before getting up and slamming his finger in a drawer which put him into a "cry mode" that lasted well after the pain had subsided (although in his defense, that took a long time)

dropping him off at school then coming home to breakfast and watch american gods, interrupted by the arrival of the therapist. i went to my mom's to work (and got into trouble for putting the toilet paper the right way around) then picked up mr smear and came home; american gods while he napped and galaxy quest when he woke up

my cracked tongue appearing to improve, an aborted mission to the aquarium and some shopping before returning home for dinner with my mom - which would have been a lot more pleasant if my québécois accent hadn't offended gd

test server setup, beauty and the beast, in bed at 11

thursday 25th:

unhappy morning, with significant improvement just before leaving to pick up mr smear

an unintended but pleasant coffee when borrowing my cousin's drill (the company, not the conversation), nap time and finishing beauty and the beast

an evening visit to my uncle, mom swinging by for a short while, falling asleep on the couch watching the truth about lies while everyone else recovered from the bedtime installment of the weaning process

friday 26th:

waking up at 5am and starting my day dealing with potential hacking / malware and implementing something that i'd thought i could leave for later

up at 7am with a hangry boy and getting him to eat a bit of maize meal before his first feed

water restrictions - johannesburg - french - seashells - late fathers - passports

dropping off mr smear and not staying because i was told to be home half an hour earlier than i needed to be, a little work and an angry ride to the acupuncturist, stopping to stew at the pavilion, home for a little work, back to pick up gd and chat before picking up mr smear; short nap, exhaustion, park

a pleasant park experience minus two incidents where i just missed saving the day (one minor, one a two year-old climbing backwards off a ledge over my head)

friday night dinner (delicious, and i ate too much), mr smear crashing before his shower (we managed to sneak in brushing his teeth, at least), then being too tired and crashing on the couch

saturday 27th:

waking up to 2010's dr who (best i've seen yet), a big breakfast and a little work
canal walk shoe shopping (unpleasant), lunch (pleasant), and singing my new version of "row, row, row your boat" until mr smear passed out
coming home with an extended nap and using it to work, then going out for a walk and just missing a gorgeous sunset before it turned uncomfortably cold

ordering pizza again, and again it taking too long; col'cacchio's pizzas are good but their delivery sucks and while we didn't have to pay for it the experience was uncomfortable enough that we won't be doing that again

mr smear finally going to bed after spending an entire day being either awesome or awful, one particularly great moment being when i continued with the previous day's letter exercise and got him to say "i love you" (and our hearts melted, doesn't matter if he knows what it means or not... although i suspect he kinda does)

watching ares, not expecting a french film but really, really enjoying it - phenomenally slick writing even with some tried and true tropes

sunday 28th:

awesomenauts! and starting my "user's guide to social", and this, and now probably going to bed. if not now, then in five more minutes...

Sunday, May 21, 2017

sometimes i just want to cry

or scream, or sleep, or work, or something, but i just don't know where to begin. i'm tired. i'm really, really tired and that's in spite of getting good work done last night and going to bed relatively early and mr smear sleeping twelve hours without a feed and giving us actual rest for once. gd and i spent the morning managing mr smear and running around trying to get ourselves ready for airplane's wedding, but once we were finally on our way gd experienced a panic attack so bad that we turned around and zoomed (my mom was driving) to the hospital where it took four (four!) ativans, a couple of doses of an anti-nausea, intravenous painkillers and breathing into a bag before she could finally slow down enough to be stoned and sleepy the rest of the day. once we put her to bed, mr smear woke up, and my mom and i took him to visit my great-aunt (who'd fallen and opened her head a few days ago) and cousin for a while; by the time we got back the grocery store was closed and we picked up HOT hot fusion and tried feeding mr smear dinner before saying goodnight.

putting him to bed the first time wasn't too hard, but when he recently got up it became an hour or so of torture - i'm not certain he has any idea why he wouldn't sleep. and every moment carrying him became tougher and tougher.

i should be in bed, but i needed to write this, and post the rest of my notes for the last weeks and then maybe - hopefully - pass out.

tuesday 9th:

sleeping good hours and dreaming intensely when i'm on my back but either the quality of sleep is poorer or i've come down with something

dropping off mr smear and crashing on returning home, reading more rebirth with my last-chance coffee (what a brilliant book, what a shame they haven't made the rest), picking up mr smear and shopping: buying a knead bread while waiting for the manager to replace the empty sanitary wipes and becoming immediately addicted (the three of us polished off the loaf by the time we hit the checkout), getting home with a passed-out child and lots of bags, lying down immediately and getting about an hour before returning to standard parent high-alert

chilly evening walk and playground time before stopping by my mom's for a quick tea, then dinner and bedtime and oh my american gods is incredibly well done and i can't believe how much i've forgotten

early to bed,

wednesday 10th:

up early for a few hours of work before climbing into bed for one last hour, dropping off mr smear and doing a quick baby city run, a fast coffee and my first private session with the therapist; pulling over on ocean view drive for a moment on the way home to stare at the sea and signal hill and just breathe in the cool sunshine air

a little command & conquer, picking up mr smear and battling the awful collective nursery school poop smell to change him

"i don't know what they were playing at at preschool today but we've just picked up adolph glitter and he is ADORABLE" - said after wiping a particular glitter pattern from under mr smear's nose

an exhausting afternoon

mom's visit before her long weekend and a short night

thursday 11th:

a difficult night for gd and me, finally getting up when i received a message from SxS that the boss's wife passed away

gd giving me a (really nice) haircut before picking up mr smear
a later nap giving me a little space to work
a short but sweet aquarium visit in an unpleasant wind
mr smear's delicious blended leftovers dinner, his hesitation to try it followed by the funny relief of his "oh no! i wasted all that time" tucking in once he did
mr smear's long goodnight, followed by the end of american gods episode two
what a strange pleasure looking at myself in the mirror after finally getting a haircut
struggling with node-mssql's documentation, then my laptop so going to bed while it updated

friday 12th:

a sleepless night and dealing with a 3am wet bed followed by an hour and a half of wet eyes and cries; i sat down to get some work done (omg, emulating azure storage is easier than getting node to connect to mssql), eventually climbing into bed for an hour which soon turned into half an hour and ended with a nightmare in which i lost mr smear at a crazy festival and then misjudged a drop and fell to my death

pokemon xy and eating mr smear's breakfast; dropping off mr smear and working hard (figuring out that microsoft's azure-storage documentation is either incomplete or incorrect (grateful that it's open source and i could read the code myself)
picking up mr smear: working to get him to return a toy, and his singing "the gift-giver's lament" after realizing that his mother's day gift for gd wasn't coming back to him

how i disengaged that day:
"<idiotjerkface> it's angry ideological vegans like you who put ordinary people off going plant-based, you're incapable of rational debate and have no concept of how many meat-eaters you turn away. me? i care more about my health and the animals and the environment than i do about being accepted into your circle. i can acknowledge that we're omnivores whilst simultaneously advocating an animal-free lifestyle because being an omnivore doesn't invalidate any of the principles of being vegan. you can thump your gorilla chest and yell into the ether, in my opinion you're as much a part of the problem as an uninformed carnist. have a great life, enjoy demonstrating your power and virility by kicking honest vegans out of your little echo chamber."
this came after explaining that after being sent down a rabbit hole i've learned that the terms carnivore, omnivore and herbivore are fluid and meaningless in a debate over what we're supposed to define ourselves as.

the smell of gd's chilli when hungry, the chiropractor, eventually taking mr smear out in the cold wind and turning right back around

a kind-of traditional non-dinner and shannara

saturday 13th:

an awful night, waking up at 5am to an interesting email from SxS and completing phase one of the task i've been struggling with; starting mr smear's day with pokemon xy before driving out to join airplane and co for the start of his bachelor's weekend
returning home excited to have spent good time with old friends and wired-tired, preparing to go back out and amazed to watch mr smear actually eat a whole apple instead of his usual tasting and spitting
back to canal walk for a few hours of shopping and a break for vegan pizza which mr smear insisted on eating upside down (like pringles, flavour side to tongue)

returning home with my cranial nerves pinching again, an hour or two manipulating my neck until shower and bedtime, when it eased a little; mr smear had been snuffly and sneezy since the previous night but it became progressively worse

shannara, leftovers, bed

sunday 14th:

dream before mr smear's stuffy nose: SxS singing modern talking - you're my heart you're my soul karaoke at a reunion gathering pre-midburn and i had to do hyper-sexualized backing vocals

a full night's sleep, although not high quality, and waking up to crash bandicoot and pancakes for mother's day; the second day of weaning, and mr smear still not feeling great so napping early and long which we took advantage of, then a brief lunch before getting ready to drive out to my sister's for a mother's day sit-down

a fun evening, busy and enjoyable. "kevin" is racist and not justified by more racism, weaponized "organic tortillas" and heavy dog drool

returning late with mr smear wide awake, shower and bed and falling asleep myself, getting up just after 11pm to deal with an asthma attack and then his shivering while wearing thermal pyjamas

monday 15th:

the fun early hours with an overheated child singing himself to sleep

dreaming cleaning a bullet hole through my toes with tissue, transferring tau credits, and then a bunch of interesting things i've forgotten

pokemon xy and mr smear investigating my breakfast (how strange that he would choose brown syrup over peanut butter :P), managing him and his nose until the cleaning lady arrived and then spending most of the following four hours getting some work done

a short nap, a little inspiration (world wars), a little shannara (gods, the character writing is infuriating), and then working on and off until my mom came over for a visit

a shower and bedtime that lasted hours and involved a lot of hoarse crying

a deserved and much-needed cider and chocolate in lieu of actual dinner, test-driving simcity 3000 (it was a good deal), and a little work while my nose became stuffy

tuesday 16th:

an easier night, but mr smear still struggling in the morning so another day home; eventually getting out to town and turning right around because he was falling asleep but then the drive home woke him up :(

gd making a great lunch while mr smear and i polished off rice cakes and humus za'atar and i chatted with another enthusiastic headhunter who doesn't know when to quit

long nap time, work time, and a productive text message meeting with an airborne SxS

an aquarium visit turned food court dinner and grocery shopping experience (gd and i both arriving at the waterfront feeling bloated), back home to shower and bedtime and a disturbing but good thai movie P (i passed out halfway, gd said the ending sucked) and going to bed early with a sinus headache

wednesday 17th:

waking up 4am with the same sinus headache and a still-stuffy mr smear

dreaming invisible demons and after parties, running through a strange house and into the kitchen of people i was trying to avoid, shouting at strangers for staring at me when trying to purchase an stm month pass at a new station, one stranger recognizing me from facebook and trading numbers, lots of montreal jews and quite a few israelis

still stuffy (both of us) but ready for school, a day grinding with iis rules and regex, a chiropractor visit and a walk around the mojo market, grabbing a delicious seed loaf and picking up mr smear and spending the early afternoon alternating between work and entertaining him; he went down late for a big nap, solid work hours before we woke him and taking him for a sunset walk

just too late for the sunset so we visited my mom instead, great russian tea and weekend wedding strategizing, back home for dinner (developing a practical method of disciplining when the food throwing begins - i make him pick it up himself), a milestone shower (soaping himself a little *and* he enjoyed sticking his head under the stream for once), a routine good night (but still stuffy), a little bit of shannara (why are we still watching?) and then diving into work

thursday 18th:

finally going to bed around 2.45am with a sense of accomplishment

first wakeup exhausted (left nostril blocked), second wakeup good (right nostril blocked, i think i'm seeing a pattern)

dropping off mr smear a half hour late, him rushing me crying to hold him while his classmates all stood around staring until the teacher carried him out to the sandpit

a quick coffee and command & conquer before the therapist arrived and i took off to sort out the car rental and rock out to tool and nin, stopping at a small beach on the way back (forgotten sunnies, so beautiful but painful), then score another project task before picking mr smear up again

the shock and sadness of chris cornell's death :(

no naps, but lunch over animal fail videos and work and repeatedly cleaning mr smear's nose for the next couple of hours before taking him to the doctor; he sang the whole way there and the whole way back, stopping only when we ran into dirk diggler's mother. a minute before that i developed what would quickly become a really nasty cough which is still plaguing me, and even with medication i'd spend a lot of the night feeling like i had a band tightening around my throat.

mom visiting, dinner and shower and not even finishing my tea before needing to drag myself off to bed

friday 19th:

a glorious 3.30am wakeup when neither myself nor mr smear could breathe properly.

mr smear spaced out listening to music on the couch, good work after dropping him off, picking up seed bread and losing my family with no phone

trying to get work done while mr smear refused to have anyone tend to him but me... and my being his horse, "up" and "ta" are all i was worth

mr smear starting to fall asleep just as we arrived at the park after an afternoon refusing to nap - i made sure he stayed awake and we enjoyed a fun couple of hours with a few moms from school, one kid wanting to play and one little hooligan walking over and punching me in the leg, one of the mothers turning out to be an old friend's sister, "you're doing it wrong" plastic bike riding, mr smear being hit in the head twice by the swings and seeming to learn his lesson (we'll see)

col'cacchio double fail: wrong address and the food arriving cold and a confused delivery man and one possibly not vegan pizza

watching split: the issues i had with it were minor, and the bottom line is that it's absolutely brilliant

from possibly not vegan pizza to probably not vegan pizza in a very short period of time

a productive meeting with my teammate followed by a bit of work and random

saturday 20th:

getting into bed around 1am, mr smear waking us up around 6.30am after a solid twelve hour sleep

the wrong music for gd and mr smear's improvement playing crash bandicoot and what i saw of arthur christmas was a really cool christmas movie.

so now i've posted and it's 2am and i've seen my cousin competing in master chef uk (and he's awesome) and i'm ready for bed. i think.

@#!$. i think we might have fleas again.

Friday, May 12, 2017

lasting impressions

holy... the driver from my primary school not only recognized me, but remembered my name (O_o)
and then listed another couple of names of kids who were a grade or two below me - so it turns out i'm associated with some right naughty buggers :P

Monday, May 08, 2017

just a monday

going to bed at 1am after a little command & conquer and elevator saga in addition to determining my next project steps

sleeping on my back again but uncomfortable after a few hours; dreaming of carrying a body in a brown skip and being kicked off a train because they didn't approve of my destination, somehow getting the skips on a flight and arriving in a stop-over city trying to find a place to bury it

up early but not functional, getting mr smear ready and dropping him off on time then meeting with the other class dad for a very interesting chat about our mutual tech interest; between the coffee and the enthusiasm i was fully wired by the time i got home, churning out a document and having a bath and a little relaxation before picking mr smear up

a long hour or two until mr smear fell asleep, myself desperately passing out on the couch before being woken to wake up mr smear and groggily drive gd to the chiropractor. mr smear was still half asleep, so a lot more manageable than usual. we came back home, got through another hour and then my mom came over and we took mr smear to prayers with us. a pleasant evening and a magnificent view of the sunset, then home to eat and prep mr smear for bed. that took a little while and i barely had time to make myself a cup of tea before being contacted by an enthusiastic recruiter.

weird moment of the day: my son running past me holding on tightly to his nipples.

it didn't help the recruiter that i'm not looking for a job, but it's really hard to take someone seriously when they describe their company's product as "disruptive" when there's absolutely nothing disruptive about it. and i'm pretty sure it's not "real time" either :P
having said that, it does sound good for an office job and it's always nice to hear that some players in the industry are getting certain things right.

now for a little "me" time before work.

long short weekend

friday 5th:

breathing discomfort and not sleeping well

dreams: big playstation party but i didn't have my control, some with vr goggles and all in the same game, an old officer's course buddy in a porn mag with his wife in the background while he literally fucked himself, mad reckless truck driving while constructing something out of lego and then pulling a hot water bottle out of a cabinet for a bus/aeroplane overhead bin and finding it full of vomit

ted: governments don't understand cyber warfare and how to exploit democracy are must-sees

dropping mr smear off in the middle of the shabbat ceremony, coming home to sort and print tax return documents, drink a cup of coffee and head out again

the replacement rental breaking down just outside the school, running in to grab mr smear and returning to find an understandably angry homeowner whose garage i'd blocked; handing mr smear over to his wife while we moved the car out of the way and being invited in for tea and crayons to wait for the mechanic. really nice people, cool dog, amazing bronze sculptures, good chat

the mechanic, hoping that the third time's the charm, dropping mr smear at home then going to the post office to mail our tax returns; eventually coming home really hungry and tired, watching hell and back (absolute genius) while guzzling down gd's amazing west african peanut soup, then trying to nap with an uncomfortable mr smear on my chest

coffee and juggling work and mr smear while gd cooked, then preparing to go to my cousin's for dinner

finally leaving, getting up the hill and the engine cutting out, rolling backwards on a handbrake again; mom bailing us out, leaving the car for the breakdown guy and arriving at the house in need of that whiskey

an exhausting mr smear but a really fun evening

saturday 6th:

crazy nightmare getting a scroll of a story i had to read but needing to alienate myself and go into hiding; fighting impotently against unkillable assassins and well funded fighters and having to pretend to befriend the investigator hired to find me even as he closed in

up early and working well, pokemon: xy and pancakes, mom's best friend's visit

mom giving me a ride to pick up the new rental, then visiting my toronto cousin's wife and family in the afternoon and picking up a hand-held milk-frother from my aunt's mother; that's as much of the day as i can recall.

sunday 7th:

an awful night's non-sleep, lying in bed restless and uncomfortable and tired for most of the night

up early, a morning cross between pokemon: xy (pretty good) and introducing mr smear to crash bandicoot: warped (he enjoyed it, even though he hasn't figured out how to manipulate the left-hand controls)
meeting my mom and her cousin in the company gardens for breakfast, the reduced-to-vegan option wasn't bad and the kids (including one of mr smear's classmates) had plenty to play with. setting up a meeting with her dad, then not catching mr smear as he fell off something and hurt his head; rationally i know it wasn't my fault, but emotionally i feel terrible. he took a short nap when we got home, but woke up very soon and was rather irritable and whiny for the next few hours while gd and i were absolutely drained and in desperate need of some downtime.

mom coming over to take him downstairs to the grocery store - i went with - and then the two of us went to prayers for my toronto cousin's mother-in-law (stunning sunset view) before returning home to gd's dinner and prepping mr smear for bed.

working and virtual desk clearing while gd watched superman returns

Sunday, May 07, 2017

three little pigs

i'm of the opinion that the three little pigs is a parable for "you are what you eat".

the wolf eats the first and second little pigs, and is eaten by the third; so by the third little pig their roles are reversed, the wolf is the pig and the pig is the wolf, and the third pig has also effectively eaten both of his brothers, albeit second-hand and partially digested.

Friday, May 05, 2017

plans vs life

tuesday 2nd:

working really hard with fiddly stuff and finally getting everything working again (after rewriting almost every single call in the system); powerful relief and an immediate need to crawl into bed

sleeping on my back (usually impossible) and experiencing the kinds of visions i imagine cgi movie animators would use as inspiration

up before our alarms and happily back to school, reading comics and working and handling bureaucracy and picking up mr smear, who was so excited to visit strangers that he made getting home a mission; lunchtime and my sister's letter and gym

learning about my watch's lock function after losing another half an hour of good bag work, then twenty minutes fast walking, climbing and occasionally running until my body remembered that it didn't *have* to feel completely useless

home for gd's enchilada-ish monster and a little surf's up before heading out for a big grocery run; we think we left around 4pm, so coming home three hours later in the dark? it certainly felt like forever.

israeli moments to celebrate independence day: wearing my doof shirt, mr smear demolishing a bag of bamba and refusing to share, and two israelis entering a queue before finishing their shopping and holding everyone up

mr smear sneakily waiting for me to have my hands full then viciously elbowing, scratching, clawing and poking me in the eyes; chasing that with piercing screams that really hurt my ears and a dramatic bedtime, i needed a drink and chocolate more than dinner; the daredevil movie sucked and my mood wasn't improved by painful rls

wednesday 3rd:

getting some sleep but waking up at 3am tired and under mosquito attack, working until 6

dream: stuffing a used tissue into a rat carcass' chest cavity, suddenly it coughed and lay there breathing peacefully

up for mr smear but only vaguely; lying down on the couch with friendship is magic distracting mr smear until gd pulled me up into sitting position with the smell of crêpes under a syrup blanket

the school drop off and taking gd to see the chiropractor; reading while i waited but with heavy eyelids, a short walk around the block then twenty minutes rest before coffeeing up and standing in the parking lot sun waiting for the therapist. not a pleasant session, but productive, followed by another very brief lie-down before picking mr smear up from school

no naps, a few timeouts and generally just keeping myself from passing out until he did; grabbing more coffee and sitting down to work but being inundated with bills instead... then all too soon he was back up and all over the place. he's awesome and adorable and too cool for school but my gods he's persistent and fierce and he relentlessly tests everything. we're as proud as we are drained :P

surviving the afternoon, eventually getting him into bed and settling down to sort out canadian taxes. still a chore and a half, but not nearly as bad as i was worried about.

netflix seems to have its ratings inversed, apparently. backing out of unfunny standup into to hell and back, which is very good balance of fun and funny

rls treatment,

thursday 4th:

sleeping until 6-ish and working hard to learn that my entity framework optimization wouldn't work (you can't one-to-many with an enum)

work and taxes and command & conquer and a quiet moment lying down staring at the ceiling before picking up mr smear

my boy makes me proud, it's really cool hearing such good things about him from teachers and other parents

quick big lunch and rushing to get to my toronto cousin's mother-in-law's funeral; i was a bit nervous about waze taking me a route i wasn't familiar with but i arrived in good time and i'd been able to enjoy music simultaneously. things were uneventful until it came time to shovel dirt on the coffin, i went up to take a turn and suddenly found myself shovelling alone. that was awkward, i put the spade down and took a step back then felt more awkward so i threw a few more heaps on, all the while feeling like i'd missed the cue to stop helping. i put it down again, embarrassed, but by the time i'd gotten clear of the closest crowd everyone else was back in to finishing the job.

a minute's drive from the cemetery and i pushed the clutch in only to hear it snap and feel my foot go straight through a space that shouldn't be accessible. i pulled over immediately, not realizing that i was on a particularly dangerous blind corner until someone was kind enough to shout at me as they went past, so i rolled the car slowly downhill using the handbrake until i was fairly clear and called the breakdown number.

i'd have to wait a while, in the blazing sun in the middle of nowhere, and i amused myself while standing guard under what scant shade i could find. eventually the mechanic arrived, he was very chilled and had the part that was needed - although he tells me he's never seen the plastic clip of a clutch cable break before. watching him work on it made me realize how important it is to get a basic understanding of how cars work; that should be a part of the theory exam, in my opinion, i've been driving for almost two decades and i've no idea how the clutch pedal works the actual clutch.


my mind wandered a little, and ended up in my initial polygraph test back in 2009. there's so much wrong with what happened in that little room, inside my head and out, and i guess i've still got a lot of work to do in dealing with that but what i find really interesting right now is that i've managed to fill my life with so much that even when i'm in "self care" mode i don't really give myself time to process anything. don't get me wrong, i process a lot of things, like, all the time. but the backlog is immense and there're some important items on my mental to-do list that i've long abandoned... i really need to learn to "meditate", or in my terms just be bored. not reading, not playing, not exercising, not sleeping. i'm not sure i know how to do that, i certain don't have the emotional motivation even if the intellectual is there.


the clutch felt strange after it was fixed but not bad, so i cautiously made my way home. mr smear was sleeping, i rested a little and ate a lot and then he woke up and we got ready to go to prayers. trusting waze, we drove over kloof nek and got stuck behind a slow driver who single-handedly generated traffic on a road that was otherwise clear. eventually we turned into bellevue street, a particularly steep road, and about halfway down the new clip snapped too. here i'll commend gd for keeping her cool, i pulled into the first "safe" spot i could find but effectively trapped the car there, and so after calling the breakdown number again there was nothing to do but go for a bit of a walk and then sit down somewhere and wait.

the walk: the weather was really nice and the moon loomed big over a beautiful sunset sky. the whole way up and down mr smear sang loudly and confidently, "twinkle, twinkle" but with all the wrong syllables, and it was really funny.

sitting down: an italian restaurant with nothing plant-based and no guinness, so gd enjoyed my hunter's and ordered some fries and just as they arrived so did the mechanic; and just as i started moving our belongings between the vehicles the restaurant started filling up and bellevue street was inundated with bad drivers. so the handover was a little stressed but eventually we were done and we came home to feed mr smear and put him to bed. i made some calls to the canadian tax authorities*, completed our tax returns and i'll be printing and sending them in the morning. until this very minute i thought i was filing on time but i realize now that we were supposed to send them on monday. damn.

* revenu quebec: "for english, press 9" so that we can continue to speak to you only in french because %#$@ you.

my reward to myself for completing the forms was to play a level of command & conquer; i completed it, not very efficiently, and then alt-tabbed out to turn on the sound so i could get the next mission statement; alt-tab freezes the game, so i'll have to play that level again sometime. oh, well.

anyway, i really felt the need to post but now i really need to do a little work before getting some rest.

Monday, May 01, 2017

the chocolate tastes funny

wednesday 26th:

working until 2.30am, going to bed excited about my solution to the double problem of preserving identity integrity across multiple databases and doing so exclusively using entity framework code first

a tender neck and difficulty carrying mr smear in the night, intense dreams, a drawn-out breakfast showdown (which he now wins by default) after which he finally agreed to eat once out of the high chair

dropping mr smear off at school (too cute with his backpack and lunchbox), home to work, picking him up again, all of us enjoying his first intense lightning and thunderstorm, his first "toda"; what the health is INCREDIBLE, watch it!

realizing that i screwed up and only partially charged my new phone battery the day before, then doing some research and realizing that it's actually better to charge in short bursts and to avoid letting the battery get hot for long periods of time.

an afternoon of software surgery, mr smear generally whiny, taking him to the aquarium but turning around because he passed out just before we arrived; back to work, then a cup of coffee and a fair amount of water to combat a headache before trying the aquarium again...

a rough start but he warmed to the jellyfish exhibit (and was thrilled when i showed him my jellyfish watch face so he could match them to the live ones), walking through the usual great stuff and then becoming agitated by all the reminders that the aquarium's sponsor in "conservation" is one of south africa's most destructive fisheries...

a walk through to the food court and finding vegan "gourmet" samoosas that were okay... they attracted some particularly aggressive seagulls who chased us inside

a nice ride back home before showering and prepping for bed, which involved me being screamed at and clawed at and generally abused (both he and my wife find my reactions hysterical), then a long, whiny goodnight (i will win - eventually)

thursday 27th:

eight hours sleep

dream angry, losing most of my coffee which had milk in it then fighting in a theatre and mr smear losing an eye and a woman crumpling my credit card

michael jackson's this is it is appropriately found on the netflix kids channel, mom coming over to give me space to do our canadian tax return; remembering that the CRA website has operating hours, and it took so long to sort out all the documents that my mom had left before i finally started filling out the forms and realized that i might not be able to do it without all our south african income and expenses

a particularly traumatic episode from lunch until returning home from a beer with an old friend (the gm who didn't appreciate nodding), which involved lots of running after our kids and ended with them rushing their daughter to the hospital for surgery... meanwhile mr smear thoroughly enjoyed his afternoon getting soaked in the fountain.

a peaceful return home, getting through the evening binge-watching addicted to food and making good progress with work.

friday 28th:

crazy, forgotten dreams, up early and finishing this is it; working while mr smear continued to cry at us until he passed out earlier than usual (with a little help from his daddy and a good playlist), after which time i managed to functionally complete the task i've been focused on since the previous week with the satisfying sensation that i'd just completed some particularly sensitive software surgery; it's one thing to describe a system that uses sql to store and retrieve data across multiple databases, creating databases on demand and maintaining referential integrity, it's quite another to implement it.

a little more addicted to food, gd and i getting a little emotional over the poor dude's guitar story, a little tax investigation, a little more work and then spending the rest of the suddenly-already-late afternoon shopping at makro and then dropping things off at home and then shopping at checkers (running into an old friend)

cremora lite: holy shit. we've been waiting for an opportunity to go to makro for ages because they're the only people who sell it and it's the only vegan coffee creamer available in south africa. and we finally got there, and we finally found it! we were so excited we could hear angels singing... until i read the ingredients, and then it became more like demons giggling. cremora lite is a milk product, just like all the others. there is no vegan creamer available here.

a small shabbat dinner, getting mr smear into bed and watching addicted to food until we passed out

saturday 29th:

6am wakeup call from a busy little boy, animated chaplin! and a walk in the bergwind to nü, running into a racist cousin along the way and some friendly parents there

mr smear falling asleep on the way back home, completing addicted to food (emotional and educational, not just about food); an appropriately-timed call from my big sister informing me that she's on a "detox" (homeopathic "doctor", very frustrating), then some lunch / play before taking mr smear out in the searing heat to play at the park... we were exhausted just getting there and he was busy but overall it was a pretty good walk

mom coming over and reluctantly agreeing to watch food choices, mr smear's first proper time outs, gd's ghanaian soup, a little more of the daredevil movie and passing out at 9.40pm sweating

sunday 30th:

at the tail end of an epic dream coming up up against an army employing soldiers with fantastic powers that were killing and hurting them so they didn't want to use them; superior officers desperately screaming at them to use their tragic gifts

one piece on crunchyroll (no funimation available in south africa)
rocking out to foo fighters and solving a technical issue with my project
the disappointment in the vegan mom who knows she eats badly and can't plan a meal for her kid
paying rent "late" (bullshit)
waterfront for the illusions exhibition (kurt wenner): a lot of fun, but the installation quality was poor and i didn't think to use my camera flash so the shadows ruined a couple of good shots

lunch and home, mr smear napping so i napped for an hour; just as i started getting into work he woke up and the rest of the afternoon was spent monitoring him, washing windows, and working until my mom arrived for a bit

mr smear falling off a chair and narrowly missing an injury, getting him showered and ready for bed, overdoing the weird-tasting chocolate while overeating and mindlessly watching grimm, then diving into work

monday 1st:

working solidly through to 2am, simultaneously getting stuck and realizing that i'd need some sleep... but just then mr smear woke up for a midnight feed during which time i became unstuck and found myself a half hour later enthusiastically hacking away

3-ish? sleeping a little, then struggling for an hour or two with rls - effectively putting to rest the soap theory and the zinc theory simultaneously

7am after a continued uncomfortable night, a warm and foggy morning, friendship is magic and geographic tongue and vegan crêpes and nursery rhymes and driving into town in a light drizzle on empty streets

a chat with scar's boss, being distinctly impressed and pleased by how he operates: he works for his employees so that they'll bring in more money. THAT is good business.

mom and the cleaning lady giving me some space to order our financial affairs - a struggle - and mr smear falling asleep just after lunch; i napped for an hour then arose, exhausted and yet inexplicably restless - too restless to lie down, but getting up made me dizzy. later on i'd realize that it was a cranial nerve thing, a repeat of our hospital experience a few weeks ago...

fancon 2017: going on the last day was one way to avoid the crowds, but for the end of the last day there were still quite a few people hanging around and plenty of beautiful art to see. mr smear loved the cosplay - even the things we expected to freak him out - and i got some time to chat with mr cat. gd insisted on a few dragon prints, but to be fair, she didn't need to push too hard.

two things:

when your kid's old enough that his head reaches your breasts standing up, it's past time you weaned him.


as we walked past one of the booths, the artist jumped up to aggressively (though not rudely) sell his graphic novel. we looked through it, and it was stunning. we heard his pitch, and it was interesting. but we weren't planning on buying anything, so we made our excuses and moved along but in the back of my mind the seed had been planted. later on, as we were making our way out, i told gd that she'd gotten her dragons and i was seriously considering that graphic novel. just then shadowslight rocked up, and when we told him about the artist being a little pushy he told us how a couple of years ago he was at a convention when an artist cornered him and convinced him to take a copy for almost nothing just so he could make it 100 sold for that weekend. and that the comic was brilliant, but was only part one of a three part series and that the guy STILL hasn't put out the second.

we arrive back at the booth. "that's the guy!" shadowslight exclaimed, and i took one look at the artist and pointed at him: "you bastard!"
he was a little taken aback, but we explained why we found this amusing. he signed a copy to mr smear and we asked him what method of payments he could take - expecting credit card or snapscan - to which he flushed and informed us that he could only take cash. which we didn't have.

so we all had a good laugh when shadowslight pulled through and loaned us the amount, that's the second time this dude's got his money even if we are going to pay it back :P

coming home for a brief stop before taking mr smear to the promenade with my mom, it was a bit too chilly but he enjoyed chasing after a sweet little girl on her bike (he just wanted to touch the light and ring the bell), and then we returned home for a good meal. that was the point at which i realized my neck was in trouble - i'd lost my appetite - although i managed to (literally) shake it off enough to enjoy the food and then get mr smear ready for bed.

there's something deeply unsettling and frustrating when i'm wiped out and my son is throwing tantrums, but even more so when he's just having a laugh by sticking his fingers in my eyes or elbowing me in the jaw.

work, posting, work.